With the current pandemic, many people are opting to forego plane tickets and instead opt for adventurous road trips with their furry companions.
But it’s important to know that not every vehicle is designed around your dog’s needs.
Autotrader USA has made a list of the ten best cars for dog lovers with the idea of making the in-car experience, however long or short, as enjoyable for your pet as it is for you.
The list, released in honor of National Dog Day on August 26, evaluated vehicles that have features aimed at keeping both humans and dogs safe – including large rear doors, low cargo floors and more. Vehicles named to the list offer the comfort, convenience and safety features to accommodate every two-legged and four-legged passenger.
According to Autotrader, no matter what brand of car you choose, look for these features to make your pet comfortable:
- Leather seats. They are easier to clean and more durable, but cloth seats are also recommended as they are great for staying cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Suede seats are not recommended.
- Tinted windows. These will help reduce heat inside your car, however it is important to note that although it is never okay to leave a dog in a parked car just because it has tinted glass.
- Level cargo floors. They make it easier for your dog to get in and out and it makes carrying a dog crate or a large dog bed a bit easier.
- A low cargo area. This makes it easier for small dogs to get in and out and is easier on the joints of older dogs.
- Rear air vents. They are a great way to keep fresh, cool air circulating around your dog.
- Cargo area tie-downs. They are important for securing crates, attaching harnesses, and holding in place wire or mesh barriers.
Safety should also always be at the top of the list of concerns for when you are in the market for a dog friendly vehicle. Many of the vehicles on the list have features aimed at keeping both humans and dogs safe for the ride ahead, including large rear doors, low cargo floors and even “dog mode.”
Brandon Sanders, product safety expert, Nissan North America said, “Often drivers may hit the road and just have their pet jump in the back seat for the ride. For a small investment and an extra minute or two, you can take steps to help ensure your pet is secured in the car. An unrestrained pet can be a distraction and also poses a greater risk of injury to human occupants.”
“Trips around town or to local destinations have become an important part of our lives these last few months and for many people, that means bringing along their pets as they hit the road,” said Brian Moody, executive editor at Autotrader. “To help new car buyers that are traveling with four-legged friends, we’ve carefully curated a list of the best cars that offer great comfort and safety features while also making the lives of pet parents just a little easier.”
Here is the list of top ten cars in no particular rank.
2020 Audi Q5
Leather seating is standard and Audi has some pet accessories like all-weather floor mats, a protective rear seat cover and dog harnesses in a variety of sizes to keep your pet safe.
2020 Chrysler Pacifica
The low load floor and the fact that Chrysler offers a number of pet-friendly accessories, such as a lightweight collapsible pet kennel and a carpeted mat for the cargo area makes this a great choice for dog lovers. It also features lots of clever storage spots for hiding dog toys and accessories, including underfloor storage (except for the hybrid model).
2020 Honda Fit
The Fit has a low load floor/cargo area, the rears seats are surprisingly big for a subcompact, leather seats are an option, it also has a large hatchback-style rear door and a tall roof wagon type setup.
2020 Hyundai Kona
This car is good for dog owners thanks to accessories like a variety of floor mats and cargo liners, a doggy water bottle, and Hyundai will sell you a back seat protecting “pet hammock.”
2020 Kia Soul
The 2020 Kia Soul has a low load floor, hatchback door, available leather seating and it’s moderately priced. There’s also a Kia Accessory cargo tray and portable organizer as well as the dual-level cargo floor.
Sean Yoon, President & CEO, Kia Motors America, Kia Motors North America, said, “Whether you’re riding with your pup around town or packing the whole family up for a weekend road trip, the Soul is perfectly cut out for canines.”
2020 Jeep Wrangler
While the Wrangler sits high off the ground, everything else about the wrangler is great for dog lovers – the Mopar accessories, available collapsible dog kennel, tons of aftermarket products and the ability to go just about anywhere with your pet. Jeep also has dog safety harnesses and the open top Jeep can replicate the ‘head out the window’ experience without worrying about safety.
2020 Subaru Outback
Subaru has tons of great pet accessories. It does sit a little higher off the ground than other midsize cars but the Outback’s versatility on and off-road mean you and your furry buddy will have many adventures.
“At Subaru, we’re committed to not only improving the lives of pets, but also to creating vehicles that keep our furry friends safe and comfortable on all of their adventures,” said Alan Bethke, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Subaru of America, Inc.
2020 Tesla Model Y
The Y sits relatively low to the ground. It also includes ‘Dog Mode’. Dog Mode allows you to lock your car, keep in on, and set the interior temperature – it even has a message on the large display screen that tells concerned passersby that your puppy is safe. Add to that durable faux, animal-free “leather” interior and the Model Y is a winner for dog lovers.
2021 Toyota Sienna
This minivan has a low load floor, large power sliding side doors, available all-wheel drive, and a big rear hatch style door, Toyota also offers plenty of dog-friendly accessories to make life with Fido hassle-free.
2020 Volvo V60
Volvo has a ton of great pet-related features you can get right from the dealer. They also offer ‘very classy’ pet barrier solutions including a soft nylon partition or a more robust piece with steel bars separating the cargo area from the passenger area. There’s also the hatch-style door, low load floor, and comfy but durable leather inside.
Autotrader also announced that it teamed up with Adopt-a-Pet.com to help get homeless dogs out of shelters and into loving homes. For more information, click here.